I assume the pay scale for checkers and baggers at big chain supermarkets is probably rather pathetic. Perhaps because of this, some positions are filled with less than stellar employees. But really, does anyone even train these people on how to pack groceries? OK, it’s a little bit of a pet peeve here. I realize I am sounding a bit Andy Rooney. So what?! I suspect I am not the only one who goes through the following scenario.
In the spirit of conservation, I am one of those people who usually remembers to bring their own reusable grocery bags. In addition, I like to bag my groceries myself. I see no point in standing there like a queen while the poor checker is running through a large order and then has to stop so she can turn around to pack bags, resulting in holding up the entire line. When I see one of those entitled “princess” customers standing there doing nothing and making everyone wait while expecting the checker to stop and pack, it really annoys me. Unless you are aged or infirm or injured, there really is no reason for that. Bagging is something I will gladly participate in. I want to do this. I actually like doing this. It insures that the cold items are packed together, that the powdered sink cleanser is not put next to something like an open bag of damp produce, that the bags are not so over-packed that I cannot lift them, that the meat is put into a plastic bag so it does not drip all over the cereal box, and that all items make it into the bag and nothing is left behind on the counter.
But after the above mini-rant, this is not about that issue. It about the check-out lines that already have somebody stationed there to pack for you. It is their job, so it leaves not much room for butting in and packing yourself, although I am always inclined to help out. I don’t want them to get in trouble for not being at their station packing, but I really would rather be doing it myself.
Now, I am not talking about some of those very sweet developmentally disabled people who have jobs in supermarkets gathering carts or bagging groceries, because generally – and perhaps ironically - they are the ones who are trying very hard. They are fastidious about their job and usually get it right. And if they don’t, well, we cut them some slack, of course. It’s about the other bored checkers or the space-cadets standing at the bottom of the conveyor belt who grab your stuff and just shove it into bags at random. They really don’t care. Where is the QA in these supermarkets?
Yesterday at the check out there was a guy standing there doing the packing. I had no choice, there he was. So I handed the bags to both the bagger and the woman at the register, which included a couple of insulated ones for cold items. I indicated the insulated bags by saying “These bags are for the cold things”, because for some reason they are usually unable to discern this. So he started packing, and at the very end the checker packed the last bag herself.
What I ended up with – one of the bags were so overly filled that I was barely able to lift it out of the cart and into the car – and when I got home I could not easily get that one bag up the stairs. All the half-gallon liquids were packed in there, making it weighted and unwieldy and subject to dropping and breaking. I was sure the handles of the bag were going to tear off. It was worse than an overfilled suitcase! The “cold” insulated bag that the checker loaded was filled to the top and wide open. It had a few cold items but mostly was stuffed with a bunch more that weren’t. I don’t think she got the fact that an insulated bag only works when you can seal it closed, by shutting it with the Velcro strip at the top. If you are not going home right away and have cold items, it’s helpful to use these bags. Lastly, I removed the S.O.’s dripping steak out of the bag and put it into a plastic bag first. The checker made a face. Don’t they see this stuff every day? Does anybody teach them? Maybe a refresher in-service?
Upon getting home, realized the lettuce was missing. It costs more in gasoline to drive back for the lettuce than the lettuce cost.
Really, these stores need to train their people right, or maybe do some spot checking. Thank you but no thanks, I’ll pack myself.